Tuesday, October 02, 2007

More Grocery Woes

Grocery shopping is just flat ticking me off lately (and by lately, I mean since I have moved here). No store ever has a constant stock of certain items (i.e., peanut butter with no sugar, powdered sugar) and it always seems like a crap shoot. For example, sometimes Shopwise & Unimart have great looking produce during one visit, and the following time, there is nothing to be seen. I wish there was one fantastic grocery store that stocked everything I wanted. Part of the problem is many of the groceries I look to buy are not staples in a kitchen here so they fall more under specialty items. Mushrooms in good condition are always a pisser for me to find as well as sour cream that is not in a liquid form.

I think the hardest thing for me to get used to is the amount of sugar in many items. Peanut butter is my big one but a lot of sliced bread tastes sweet as well as canned corn. We were looking for one can of corn and ended up buying an imported brand because that was the only one without sugar added. In addition, I miss bread. Besides sourdough bread and bagels, I have yet to see any rye bread. I also miss Kosher beef hot dogs (here they are all pork or pork/beef blends) and beef bologna (German style from a deli....not fat oscar meyer type).

Final evilness of the groceries here is expired food. It is unfortunately very common to see expired or just old (in terms of produce) still on shelves. I learned the hard way and now know to look and EVERY label to see when the expiration is. I do not know why they do not discount the items right before they go bad instead of letting them fester. The first time I saw this (it was about 20 pieces of bagged lettuce mix that had all rotted down to a small fist size amount) I thought it was a fluke and mentioned it to the produce guy. He looked at me like I was crazy so I left it and went away. I no longer shop there. Funnily enough, the store is Waltermart which reminds me of the evil chain in the states so it is just as well.

16 comments:

Christine said...

Is it time for a care package? It could be a late/early Christmas/birthday/Easter present?!

kikas_head said...

No, I am counting the days until Hawaii. We will do some big time shopping there (especially since there is a Costco). I also need to hunt down this place that sells macadamia shortbread that is the best in the world. I had a coworker that used to call the store and have it shipped to SF--it is that good/

Jen said...

Yeah, let me know if you want something. We sure have rye bread in NY!

mtan said...

Have you tried going to the specialty markets? They have places selling rye, sourdough, even pumperknickel bread at Salcedo Market, Legaspi Market. Granted it's only once a week, but better than nothing.

kikas_head said...

I actually have not been to Salcedo Market yet although a lot of people told me that was the place to go. We rarely go to Makati just due to the traffic (sadly after living here almost 18 months I have yet to figure out the LRT/MRT) but I guess first thing in the morning on a Saturday should be pretty good.

I am slowly finding markets here (Santis & Terry's) via other blogs but I am still in the finding process. I am also hoping than since bazaar season is starting I can find some suppliers there. In the meantime I have taken to having friends bring me back items from their trips abroad.

Your mention of the different breads has inspired me to hit Salcedo Market!

Anonymous said...

Hello,
Just came across your site. We are in the SF Bay area and are in the early phases of a potential relocation to Metro Manila this summer.
Curious to here about your grocery adventures and discoveries. It's a comparatively small but important consideration. (Especially lack of sourdough!!!)
We'll look forward to more of your posts!
FAB

kikas_head said...

I think it is hardest coming from the Bay Area where we are so spoiled. ANY ingredient in the world can be procured there and the restaurants are some of the best in the world. We can have it all there.

When blog hopping I found a post about a German deli in Makati that sells sourdough so I will have to go there and try it. My curse is still the cheese. Cheese is just not very popular here and even in restaurants I have to ask if they use "real" cheese or if it is "quick melt" which is not quite to my liking.

If you are moving out here on a expat package, you will not have as much trouble as I do. The more cosmopolitan the neighborhood, the better the selection. It is just too hard for me to drive an hour and a half in traffic to go to a shop that may or may not have an ingredient. When I move to QC, it should be slightly better, although never as good as SF.

If you do move here, get an S&R membership. It is the Costco of the Philippines and just fantastic.

kikas_head said...

Oh, I forgot to mention. You will become a hoarder here. Once you find an item you love (mine is natural peanut butter, triscuits, and pepper jack cheese), you will buy tons of it because you may not see it again for a couple of months. On the flip side, when you go back to the states, you will do the same thing to come here.

Doug said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Doug said...

OMG!!! REAL SOUR CREAM!!! Have u found it? Please say so! I've experienced both the Nestle buttermilk version as well as the AUS version at Santi's... Needless to say neither are anything close to real sour cream. Please!! someone please tell me where to buy my beloved sour cream in PH.

groceries philippines said...

When I was young my, i also dreamed to have my own grocery store, so that I can eat everything I want to eat, and I definitely agree with you that "Final evilness of the groceries here is expired food." so that whenever I go to a grocery I look first at the expiration date. Thanks for the post. I can really relate.


-urieqo-

groceries philippines said...

It is already a BER months, it was time to sending packages to our love ones.

Jason Zenteno

Anonymous said...

AGREE!!! gosh grocery shopping in Manila is such a let-down. I too scan the expiry dates religiously and sweep the shelves of my Post cereal!

Mynthe said...

I agree with you about the inclusion of sugar in everything, including in ingredients. I am a Filipino but I just cannot stand sugar when added unnecessarily to everything. No wonder diabetes rate in the Philippines is at its highest. DUH! What I hate the most is sweet spaghetti sauce. Thanks to S&R, I get to buy some of the products that are absent at any SM or Robinson Supermarkets. We just found out about it the other day and gave it a visit. Love the store.


The Filipinoys Forum
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Tim Gwilt said...

I know what you mean. But, have you tried SM Hypermarket in Makati, near the Ayala Station of the MRT? They have a LOT of American and Eurpean foods. And Metro Markets (Robinson's grocery stores) have a big imported section. See my blog for more about groceries and foods in the Philippines: http://timotraveling.blogspot.com

Ashley Madison said...

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